It’s been just over one month since I finished the 75-hard challenge (which I upped to 90-hard) that was popularized by Andy Frisella of 1st Phorm. I’ve used this time to reflect on what this challenge taught me not only about myself, but the human condition as well.
The challenge consists of 75 days of:
- No Alcohol or Tobacco
- (2) 45m Workouts (1 Must Be Outside)
- (1) Gallon of Water
- Stick to a Diet
- Read (10) Pages of Non-Fiction Per Day
The following is what I wrote when I first sat down to express my experience onto the page the day after I completed the challenge:
“It’s 5:30am and the morning alarm that has started my day for the last 90 days began to sound. The date is Sunday, February 21st, 2021, and I completed my self-imposed 90-hard challenge the day before…
As I began to bat my eyes open in the minimalistic hotel room of Civana Resort and Spa in Carefree, Arizona it dawned on me that today was the first day in the past 3-months where I didn’t have to get up and hit the pavement or the gym. What I then realized was that I didn’t have to do that any previous morning either…”
That’s when I realized the gravity of what this challenge meant to me and to so many others. You see, it’s often assumed in life that we have to go to school, get a degree, work a reliable job, get married, have kids before we’re to old [insert societal conditioning here]…
The reality is, you don’t have to do anything, and you sure as shit shouldn’t be living your life chasing someone else’s imposed dream. The key distinction is when you realize that what your doing is an ‘I GET TO’, rather than an ‘I HAVE TO’ .
My daily routine consisted of the following:
- 5-5:30a – Wake up, Bathroom, & Put on previously laid out clothes
- 5:30a – 6:15a – 45 minute outdoor run
- 6:15a – 6:30a – 15 minute seated meditation / light stretching or yoga
- 6:30a – 7:30a – Read & Drink Coffee
- 7:30a – Shower & Start My Day
- PM – Workout, Yoga, Sport, etc.
The crazy part is what happened just over a week into the challenge…
My body started waking up just before my alarm went off, I started craving exercise in the mornings and I felt an immense sense of clarity, purpose, and fulfillment… AND I was more productive than I had ever been in my life (if you know me you know that’s saying something).
During these 90 days I completed:
- 180 Workouts
- 1350 Minutes of Meditation
- 10+ Books
- Launched An Online Course
- Business Did More Revenue In January… Then the Entirety of 2020
- Felt Connected In My Friendships & Relationship
- Played Sports Nightly
- Spent More Time Outside In Nature
- The list goes on…
The amazing part is that all of the above I would consider to be ‘side effects’
of the main goal, and that is a level of happiness, clarity, and fulfillment I hadn’t felt in my life before. Everything I did had purpose… it’s as if the discipline to hold myself accountable each and everyday put me into a heightened state of awareness. In an essence, I had created my own Ikigai
One morning, towards the middle of the challenge, I felt myself slacking just a smidge… and on this particular day I started my run about an hour later than normal, but what happened that day made all the difference.
Normally, I ran before the sun came up which gave me a sense of achievement, a sense of “Look what I’ve accomplished before the rest of the world gets up…” sort of feeling. This morning was different, and I was actually running during sunrise. I ran the usual route, but when I turn the corner to begin the trip back the sun was peaking over the horizon and the entire sky was lit with the most amazing pinks, purples, and blues.
It was that moment that I realized that what I was doing was not for anyone else but myself. That the “look what I’ve accomplished…” feeling was just stroking my ego, and that what I actually wanted was inner fulfillment…. and inner fulfillment was what I was giving myself my following through on the commitment I had made with myself.
We are all living separate lives, but one constant that rings true for everyone is that all we have is our word… and our word determines how we speak to ourselves and show up in the world. First, you must commit to having an impeccable word, then all following commitments actually mean something to you…
… it’s no longer a question of ‘IF’ but now a question of ‘WHEN’ and I cannot begin to tell you how freeing, fulfilling, and empowering that realization is…
Because if not for you… for who…?
… and if not now… when…?
My morning routine, while I must admit, is not as rigorous as it was during the challenge still includes some form of outdoor movement, meditation, and reading… and I can 100% say that the day’s I do not get up and get moving I see a noticeable difference in my workflow, attitude, and creativity.
Looks like I’ve created a habit that’s going to stick, in some form or another, for the rest of my life, and if you’re searching… searching for a way to feel ‘whole’ again, might I recommend some ol’ fashioned exercise and a dedicated morning routine for a few weeks. A little birdie told me that it’ll benefit you in more ways than you can possibly imagine.
If you’re looking for a kickstart to get your life back on track I created The Mindful Month Challenge
to do just that. In this FREE challenge you’ll receive a daily prompt to be completed every morning, and it’s sure to get you back on track!